ERIE, Pa. (WJET/WFXP/ — Republican Rep. Mike Kelly was in Erie on Friday to condemn a story from the Erie Reader.

Kelly held a press conference Friday morning where he engaged in a contentious back and forth with the media.

He argued that an opinion piece written by Erie County Democratic Chairman Jim Wertz suggests Kelly is on a pardon list.

Kelly claims this is a distraction from the real issues facing the country, citing inflation and high gas prices.

According to Kelly, he has never sought a pardon. However when we asked him about the pardon he did not answer the question directly.

Instead, he suggested to take a look at Erie Reader article and investigate the allegations.

“When people can print whatever they print, whenever they want to print it, and be a blatant outright lie, and then sit back to see how you’re going to respond to it, my response to it is they don’t deserve a response,” said Kelly.

Wertz released a statement in response, “I stand behind this well researched and important piece of opinion writing. There is nothing false or misleading contained within the article.”